Grant WHARINGTON'S super maxi Skandia will be chasing a place in Australian ocean racing history when she contests the 308 n/ml Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race over the Easter weekend.
Skandia has the potential to become the first yacht to win line honours in Australia's three major east coast classics since Jack Rooklyn's Apollo completed the prestigious 'Grand Slam' 25 years ago.
The revolutionary Skandia, the first Australian maxi to be built with a canting keel survived a 60 hour match race with the impressive New Zealand yacht Zana to claim her first major long distance race win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race to set the Grand Slam challenge in place.
Skipper Wharington and the Skandia crew will have to measure up to another test in match racing against the smaller maxi chaser the Sean Langman skippered AAPT in the 469 n/ml Sydney to Mooloolaba race starting on March 31st followed by the Brisbane to Gladstone on Good Friday April 9.
AAPT racing under her previous name of Grundig presently holds both line honours trophies and the Gladstone race record, which sets the stage for an absorbing match race between Australia's fastest monohull yachts.
Size and sail power will favour Skandia, however she will face her most searching test in boat speed with AAPT holding the mantle as the undefeated line honours champion.
Langman and the AAPT crew also have the distinction of dominating the east coast offshore circuit with the impressive score card of line honours in the Sydney to Southport race back to back victories in the Sydney Mooloolaba and three consecutive wins in the Brisbane to Gladstone classic.
Both yachts, crewed by a number of Australia's best big boat sailors have been known to fight to the bitter end to protect their reputations and this will hold the key to Skandia retaining her undefeated record or AAPT retaining her status as Australia's most consistent line honours trophy winner.